Saturday, November 5, 2011
Stars Notes: Another road test
By Mark Stepneski
FRISCO -- The Dallas Stars are hitting the road again and it will prove to be another good test. The four-game journey will have them facing Carolina, Washington, Pittsburgh and Detroit.
Carolina, Sunday’s opponent, is coming off a listless performance in a 5-1 loss to Washington on Friday. Washington (Tuesday) and Pittsburgh (Friday) both are off to excellent starts and are ranked at the top of the Eastern Conference. Detroit (Saturday) is off to a lackluster start and coach Glen Gulutzan said the Stars could be heading into a “hornet’s nest” when they visit Joe Louis Arena.
“It’s going to be a real tough road trip,” Gulutzan said. “It will be a good character test for us.”
This will be the second road trip of the season for the Stars. They enjoyed good success on the last one, picking up six of a possible eight points against Columbus, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Phoenix.
The Stars started off that trip by winning the first two games and they are hoping for a good start on this current trip.
“We’re going to play against some really good teams here. We want to get a good start [Sunday in Carolina],” said Stars forward Loui Eriksson. “It’s going to be a tough challenge and I think everybody is ready to get going.”
Ott out Sunday, likely to miss Tuesday as well
Stars forward Steve Ott, who missed Friday’s game with a hip pointer, is out for Sunday’s game at Carolina and isn’t expected to play Tuesday at Washington. He didn’t travel with the team Saturday and will continue his rehab in Dallas.
“He's made some improvements and he is not in as much discomfort," Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said after Saturday's practice. "I think Tuesday is a stretch because we need him to practice a couple days. I think we are going to move that to Friday. He's going to stay back for the first bit of the trip so he can rehab and possibly get on the ice here by himself."
Gulutzan said the Stars are hoping Ott will be ready for Friday’s game in Pittsburgh.
Raycroft will play on trip
Stars backup Andrew Raycroft will play at some point during the Stars’ four-game road trip, but exactly when is still up in the air.
“No question he will, but where we don’t know,” Gulutzan said. “Kari [Lehtonen] is going to get the call [Sunday].”
Raycroft, who has started two of the Stars first 12 games, last played October, stopping 23 of 24 shots in a 1-0 loss at Los Angeles.
Notes: Fistric on Twitter
*Dallas Stars defenseman Mark Fistric is the latest member of the team to hit Twitter. You can find Fistric here: @Fistric28
*Daryl Reaugh is working for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada this weekend, so Billy Jaffe of Versus will work Sunday’s television and radio broadcast with Ralph Strangis.